Facebook Launches New Tools for Advertisers Amidst Political Ad Controversy

It seems like pretty much every other day Facebook ends up being embroiled in some kind of a controversy, and the latest controversy has surrounded the social media platform’s treatment of political ads. Essentially, this controversy is about the various false political ads that end up going on the platform, and how they stay up on the network in spite of the fact that many people call them out for being more or less completely false.

It’s safe to say that Facebook has ended up suffering from a great deal of backlash as a result of these controversies, but in spite of this recent developments seem to indicate that Facebook really isn’t taking the criticism all that seriously.

Facebook has now launched a new series of tools that are meant to protect advertisers and give these advertisers more control on the platform. These tools are essentially meant for brand safety, and the gist is that advertisers are going to have more control over where their ads appear. Also, Facebook is testing out a white list for these advertisers, one that would ostensibly allow these brands to create a list of publishers that they would prefer to work with as far as their ads are concerned.

Needless to say, these updates have resulted in Facebook receiving even more criticism from people that are claiming that the social media platform is not taking the criticisms it is being levied as seriously as it needs to, working on advertiser protection rather than consumer protection.

People are also criticizing the changes themselves. Giving advertisers more control over where their ads are displayed could result in some companies that might have an anti-LGBTQ+ bias to avoid advertising over content that contains such references, something that would hurt content creators that depend on ads in order to earn a decent amount of revenue from the work that they are currently doing.

However, the content control protocols that have been put in place would definitely be useful for certain companies. For example, a company that sells fast food products would definitely not want to be in any kind of video that features or talks about obesity since this would be bad optics for them and could compromise their image in the public mind.

The main focus as far as criticism is concerned is that Facebook’s attempts to protect advertisers and brands seems myopic given the backlash they have received with regards to their treatment of political ads and especially false ads. The platform needs to do more in order to safeguard users that may fall prey to false ads and probably have already done so at some point in the past.

Photo: AP

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